Hi I’m Emma, and in 2015 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time I played a lot of netball and one day my sports bra became really uncomfortable. I didn’t think much of it as it had been rubbing for a couple of months, but on closer inspection I found a pea-sized lump. I knew straight away it wasn’t right so went to see my doctor as soon as possible. I wasn’t too concerned and didn’t tell anyone I was going. As a family we’d been through a tough time - my Dad had died suddenly 11 years earlier at just 57 and then my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I didn’t want to unduly worry her or my sister.
A week later I saw an oncologist who gave me a mammogram followed by an ultrasound scan and needle biopsy. Alarm bells really started to ring because I was having one procedure after another. I knew something must be wrong. After the tests I met with the oncologist who, knowing my science background, asked ‘how matter of fact do you want me to be?’ He then broke the news that although we didn’t have the biopsy results he had no doubt that I had breast cancer and it was clear it had spread into my lymph nodes. I was in complete shock and on walking out the room burst into tears, I had only told two friends that I’d found a lump and now I was going to have to tell my family and all the people I loved that I had cancer.
After the diagnosis I agreed to take part in a new trial of 2 antibody treatments combined with high dose chemotherapy treatment. I just wanted to throw everything I could at this cancer. My doctors told me I was fit and well and that I’d be able to take it. And because of my background in research I felt I wanted to be part of something that could benefit future generations. I had a lumpectomy and axillary clearance, and completed radiotherapy in November. Post-surgery, I received the fantastic news that I was clear of cancer. I continued to work and play netball when able throughout. I now really feel like I can start to look forward to the future, and signing up for Race for Life has given me a fitness goal to aim for. I’ve always been a positive person and this is what has got me here today.
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I cried my eyes out. I was in absolute bits and asked if I was going to die. But the surgeon was amazing – by the time I had stopped crying, she had already worked out my treatment plan.”
Liz was just 21 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. She says, “I probably experienced more emotion in those few months than I have in my entire lifetime. At first I panicked, but after talking to my surgeon I went from thinking ‘my life is over’ to ‘there’s hope for me.' I had a lumpectomy 10 days after my diagnosis, and also opted for fertility treatment so my eggs could be frozen. I took part in Race for Life whilst having chemotherapy last summer, and it was amazing. I encourage everyone to do it – you have no excuse not to!”
Sign up to Race for Life today and help us beat cancer sooner: http://po.st/GiqtlJ
"Hi I’m Louise, and a hug from my boyfriend Kevin helped save my life! It was during the hug that I felt a pain in my chest, which revealed a lump in my breast. At the time I thought it was nothing, but I contacted my doctor just to be safe. I was referred for a biopsy and ultrasound which confirmed that I had an early form of breast cancer. It was a huge shock, and things moved so quickly. I had a left side mastectomy and reconstruction and also had my lymph nodes removed. I then started chemotherapy, which was tough going. I had a bad reaction to the treatment and my immune system became so low I had to go into isolation for a few days, which I really struggled with.
Kevin was such a huge support throughout – he proposed to me just before I started my chemo, and helped shave my head when I started losing my hair. I went through months of gruelling treatment, but now, nearly two years since my diagnosis, I feel great! I've found that mentally it takes longer to rediscover who you are again and feel back to your normal self, but, I am there now and am so excited and lucky to be marrying Kevin in July this year. If I can get through this I can get through anything and for me the next chapter starts now!”
A huge well done and thank you to everyone who took part in one of our 5k or 10k Race for Life events across the country today. Whether you walked, jogged or charged, every step helps us beat cancer sooner.
Hi I’m Julie and in February 2015 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After finding a lump and experiencing tenderness on the side of my left breast I decided to visit my doctor. I underwent a variety of tests and was called in soon after to receive my results, but didn’t think anything of it. It was only when the doctor said “sorry it’s cancer” that I realised how serious the situation was. When I heard the news I felt like I’d been hit by a train. It was just awful. I had no expectation of what it was going to be so the diagnosis really hit me hard.
After my initial diagnosis I was sent for a mammogram which picked up a further three tumours – these were treated through hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Following my treatment I decided to have a mastectomy - to me having a mastectomy was the obvious choice as I had two young children and I needed to do what was necessary to remove any risk of the cancer coming back again. Now, I’m happy to say my treatment is nearly finished and life is starting to feel normal again.
Sharing my story is really important to me as I don’t want cancer to define me. I saw it as a temporary change that I needed to go through.